Let’s all do the “Half-way through the issue dance!!”
What? We haven’t come up with a dance? Jeez, we need to get on that!
This week we’ve got the RETURN OF MR. EVERETT!! And a particularly wordy-“science page”– It’s sort of a sequel to Issue 1’s page 18, where Mr. Everett explained the principal behind Schrodinger’s Cat.
Mr. Everett was named after an old Math teacher of mine– He was actually a pretty nice guy, but when I needed a name for Cally’s grumpy science teacher, his was the first name that popped in my head. This happens with me a lot– basically, if I’ve ever met you, or know your name, you stand a pretty good chance of ending up a character name in one of my stories…
Now, when you start getting into Quantum Physics stuff, at least from a personal standpoint, weird connections start happening– here’s one for ya:
Ever hear of a band called The Eels? You might recall a 90s song called “Novocaine for the Soul” — and they’ve put out some pretty cool albums since then– one of which, Souljacker, is a personal favorite of mine.
Around the time I was writing this issue, I was heavily listening to an Eels album called “Blinking Lights and other Revelations”– now, the way I tend to write, at least on these science-y pages, is that I develop a folder of notes to look over once I’m actually IN the scripting– Often having a folder like this helps me with the verbiage and coring down an explanation of BIG and SCIENCE-Y into something that’ll fit into a comic book page.
One of the entries I’d dogtagged to come back to was the Many Worlds Interpretation, which I thought would fit rather nicely with Cally’s outlook, particularly in terms of where she is in her story-arc.
As “Blinking Lights” chimes away in the background, I start digging into the Many Worlds Interpretation to discover it’s originator: Hugh Everett– Huh, interesting– I jokingly wonder if OUR Mr. Everett is related to him.
And then I run across an interesting little bombshell: Hugh Everett is the father of Mark Oliver Everett– better known as the E, the primary songwriter/frontman for the Eels.
…Or maybe just an odd coincidence.
Sometimes a story really does take on a life of it’s own–But, personally, I like to believe that Hugh Everett maybe sent a message out from one of those Parallel Dimensions.
Mark Everett (E) apparently did a documentary about his father’s work a few years back for the BBC, and someone was nice enough to upload it to Youtube (in a few different parts)– You can check it out here:
Ok, Quantum Weirdness filter OFF! Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of PROCESS!
The first thing I noticed when DJ sent over the pencils is his little sneaky kitty cat that Cally drew on her paper in Panel 2. Seriously, that had me doubled over laughing– I even zoomed in on it, DJ perfectly captured CALLY drawing a little kitty. Just priceless.
You can see in the lineart that DJ knew we had a pretty massively text/balloon page, so he left us plenty of room to pop in our dialogue– can’t stress the importance of that enough to you artists: Always look at the text that’s happening on the page and plan accordingly.
Here was another one of those “Challenge Pages” for DJ– I rarely ever call out for 7 panels. In a “mainstream” book, like Spy6teen, you pretty much want to be sticking to 4 to 6 panels. Throwing in a 7th panel, you know things are going to start getting tight– but, like with this week’s page, every once in awhile you need one to smooth the transition into the next page.
The “Yo Teach” panel I wrote in as an optional– The same way I did Blake’s “So Sad…” on Page 3– but both times, DJ nailed it.
This week, Brant actually went from Flatting (Remember our explanation on flatting last week) to directly laying the Balloons over the Flats, speeding up the process while Lisa Colored. I don’t know why that’s never occurred to me, but since the page dimensions and lineart remain consistent after coloring, it does seem to be a handy way of speeding up assembly line.
Lisa’s highlight work is pretty phenomenal on this page as well– Take a look at the consistency in light on the mid-tier of panels– which moves from right to left as Cally and Mr. Everett go back and forth.
Even when we hit Panel 5, where DJ has switched up the angle on Cally, the lighting remains consistent.
Big shoutout this week to Brant and DJ Kirkbride for handling the WALL O’ TEXT like super-pros– This page went through some pretty heavy edits. Considering when I write the “Science PAGE!” I always tend to go a little overboard, DJ suggested some cuts and connected balloons to help with the placement and overall readability.
The “Yo, Teach” line was fairly problematic for Brant as well– mostly in finding the placement of the line. I’ll have to upload a few of the versions that Brant went through before we settled on this one– but for now, I’ll just say that there were, I think 3 working versions of that panel?
It was a tough one in regards to the Balloon tail– where do you put it? Too close to Cally and it looks like she’s saying it– too close to the hand, and it looks like the hand is talking. Place the balloon on Everett’s head and things just look weird.
There was one version that I kind of liked in terms of overall page flow, where the “Yo, Teach” was placed at the bottom– but it had an abnormally long tail, which kind of looked “off”– also, due to the inset of panel 7 in panel 6, the boarders alongside the balloon gave everything a very confusing look.
Ultimately, I left it to Brant as “Letterers Choice,” and he leaned over to v.3, which is the page you see before you. I know that Brant still isn’t amazingly stoked with this panel, but it works– and I think he did a stellar job with the rest of the page, considering the amount of information that’s coming out of it!
For you Droid owners out there, Spy6teen is now officially available on that platform via Graphic.ly! Check it out:
I don’t actually own a Droid, so I can’t try it out– but if you do happen to have one, please let us know how Spy6teen looks!
In other news, we’ll be recording our February podcast (yeah, little late– I’m aware) tomorrow with awesometastic guest: Lisa Moore! I’ll have it up on the blog for Thursday, so keep an eye out!
Speaking of Thursday’s blog, I’ll have a pretty cool (but niche) writeup on how to read comics (and Spy6teen!) on your big screen TV via the Playstation 3. If you have a PS3, you’ll want to check it out for sure– it’s a REALLY cool reading experience!
Also, in what classifies as “not really news”– I started a Facebook group for our little label: Sandbox Comics. Obviously, there’s not much there right now, but it recently occurred to me that Sandbox IS a publisher– and it’s something that I want to try to grow.
So, consider that little Facebook group the seed of a tree I’m hoping will take root.
Since I have little to no idea of what I’m doing, I’m completely open to any ideas you’d like to run past me in terms of helping/joining us for the ride. If you have a title that you’d like me to check out to include under the banner, shoot me an email and let me know.
Well, we’re rounding out the last few days of February, and it looks like we’ll be concluding the month in the Hundred-Teens on Top Web Comics. I’m incredibly proud of this month’s rollercoaster ride– breaking into the top 100, dipping into the 80s, and then a smooth float back up to the 115 mark.
We’ve made some serious progress since January, and I can’t thank you guys enough for your votes! Keep up the awesome work and I don’t doubt that we’ll be a fixture in the 90s in no time!
Get it RSS’ed or Bookmarked, or something! You aren’t going to want to miss this!
Ok, seeya guys back here on Thurday for Blog@16! Podcast! Playstation 3 tutorial! Other Stuff!